SPRING MILLS — With a compressed schedule courtesy of several March and April showers, sometimes all that matters in May is getting a win.
Bald Eagle Areas 4-1 victory at Penns Valley on Thursday wasnt pretty, but the Lady Eagles survived, and perhaps learned a valuable lesson as the postseason approaches.
Its a big confidence booster because Penns Valley was ready, said BEA coach Kayleen Sidisky. I think at first we were a little back on our heels, but we came through and refocused and thats important heading into the playoffs.
The fired up Lady Rams (6-7), who managed just one hit last time BEA pitcher Megan Dudish was on the mound, jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first.
Its a game played with a lot of emotion and you get up for an inning, said Penns Valley coach Don Lucas. But you have to keep that intensity and play seven complete innings.
Fueled by the emotion of Senior Day, the Rams played well but just couldnt make enough game-changing plays.
BEA (9-6), in contrast, behind timely hitting, Dudish on the mound and some nice glove work in the field, earned the victory.
With the scored tied at 1-1 in the third, BEAs Haley Geidroc turned on an inside fastball and drilled a solo home run over the left-field fence.
It was the sophomores first career home run.
It was just right there and it was my pitch so I just swung pretty hard, Geidroc said. When I step up to the plate, I have the mentality that Im going to hit the ball and even if I dont, Im going to attack next time.
When asked about Geidroc, who went 2-for-4, an ear-to-ear grin came over Sidiskys face.
Geidroc is a great kid, Sidisky said. Shes fun to be around and likes to have fun. Over the past few games, shes really focused in on the little things.
However, one concern for the third-year coach was her teams collective lack of attention to details.
There was a blooper down the left field line that, with hustle, could have been turned into a double. Then, a base that effort could have stolen, but instead turned into a rare 2-6-4 caught stealing for a critical second out.
Those are plays that Sidisky hopes will be cleaned up by playoff time.
I think some of the girls need to get better at focusing and playing their hardest all the time, Sidisky said. Were about half way there. Over the next week thats our goal as we get ready for the playoffs.
Penns Valley, who plays in a Williamsport Tournament on Saturday, didnt make it easy.
Lady Ram Courtney Ironside (2-for-3) led off the sixth with a sinking line drive that dropped just in front of a diving Makennah Dyke in right field.
It wasnt that the Rams couldnt get to Dudish. It was more that their hardest hit balls seemed to always be within arms reach.
With Ironside on first, Kylee Wasson attempted a sacrifice bunt. Wassons attempt popped quickly into the air just long enough for catcher Morgan Nyman to sprawl for the catch.
Nymans acrobatics came an inning after she was unable to grab a pop fly in the fifth.
Senior Morgan Royer (1-for-3) came up next and nailed a liner back up the box that trickled off Dudishs glove. A hard-charging Allison Simpson scooped the ball from second and fired to first in time to nab Royer.
Dudish finally foiled Ironsides lead off single when she battled back in the count against Nicole Harbaugh and finally painted the inside corner for a called third strike.
Megan has thrown two games this week coming into today, Sidisky said. She battled and when she needed to get a big strike out she got it.
Lucas, in his 13th season with the Lady Rams, was proud of his teams effort.
We just keep getting better, he said. I just couldnt be more proud of them.
I have most of these girls back, but we lose three great seniors. Its hard to replace a group that weve had for four years.
Senior Maggie Lynch (6-7) has all six Penns Valley wins this season. She was in control against BEA until the Eagles put up two insurance runs in the seventh. Fellow senior Madisyn Sharer (0-for-3) hit a few Dudish offerings hard but right at fielders.
In contrast, BEA, who plays at Tyrone on Monday, found gaps.
Geidroc sparked the two-run seventh with a slap single down the right field line. Then Marissa Tobias (1-for-2, RBI) singled home Simpson, who was hit by a pitch. Logan Fischer (2-for-4, two RBIs) then drove home Geidroc with another single.
That last inning we really did focus and zeroed in on what needed to be done, Sidisky said. Those insurance runs were really important. It gives me confidence knowing that we can be down and still win and when we need to turn up the intensity.